By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com November 11 2012 10:24 AM ET
Three and a half months after his death from lung cancer, actor Sherman Hemsley will finally be allowed a burial.
A judge ruled Friday that Flora Enchinton Bernal, a longtime female friend and business partner of Hemsley's, can take over his estate and proceed with burying the actor, who starred in The Jeffersons and Amen. Hemsley's body has been refrigerated in an El Paso funeral home since his death on July 24 thanks to a legal tussle between Bernal and Hemsley's half-brother, who had his own plans for Hemsley's funeral.
The actor was long the subject of gay rumors and Bernal told the Associated Press that when she met Hemsley, he was living with a longtime male companion. That companion, Kenny Johnston, has never made any claims to Hemsley's estate, valued at a meager $50,000, or asked to oversee the burial.